Our own David Sumner has a new book coming out soon about the untold story behind the famous Bear Bryant – Wally Butts football scandal.
An Atlanta insurance salesman accidentally overheard a telephone conversation and became the center of a scandal that riveted the world of college football in 1963.
He overheard Wally Butts, the Athletic Director at the University of Georgia, give his friend Paul “Bear” Bryant, the legendary Alabama coach, inside play formations and player details that helped Alabama romp over Georgia 35-0 in the season opener. For a few months, George Burnett, the insurance salesman, didn’t tell anyone what he overheard, not even his family. Then he told a business colleague, who informed the head coach, who told the president of the University of Georgia. Then the FBI, the Georgia governor and attorney general launched an investigation. The story was leaked to the Saturday Evening Post, which published an article in March 1963 that brought libel lawsuits from Butts and Bryant, which gripped the world of college football and went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
David E. Sumner tells this riveting story, relying on more than 1,500 pages of correspondence, memos, reports, and trial transcripts from the FBI, the University of Georgia Archives and the National Archives and Records Administration. It includes an interview with Governor Carl Sanders (1962-66) who died in 2014. Governor Sanders, who ordered the Georgia Attorney General to investigate the scandal, was a former quarterback at the University of Georgia. Watch for this exciting book in June 2016 and learn more at http://footballfumble.com/